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After months of planning, organizers are gearing up for Yorks 29th annual Summerfest Aug. 25, as they prepare to welcome some 40,000 people to salute the end of summer.
Festival chairman Lee Youngblood, who led the planning with his wife, Leah, said new additions to the event this year include a Saturday night concert and an all-new car show.
The closing concert featuring beach music, Motown and classic rock by Lakeside Drive will be from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Aug. 25 in the parking lot of Whitesides Cleaners at North Congress and Madison streets.
With Summerfest being such a big event, it made a lot of sense to us to end it with a bang as opposed to, OK, its 5 oclock, Summerfest is over, said Lee Youngblood. A lot of preparation goes into this event. We felt it was necessary to end it with as much energy and enthusiasm as goes into it.
The traditional Friday night Downtown Live concert that has been a favorite Summerfest opening event will continue, said entertainment organizer Robert Allison.
Allison said Flash Back, a beach and Motown band out of Charlotte, will perform from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, in the Whitesides lot during Downtown Live, a summer concert series presented by the Greater York Chamber of Commerce. This year, the Downtown Live concerts were moved to Friday nights, instead of Thursday nights.
The Youngbloods moved to York about two years ago, Lee Youngblood said, in part because they wanted to raise their toddler-age son in a small town. He is assistant vice president and relationship manager for First Citizens Bank on Congress Street. She is a senior planner for the city of Rock Hill.
Leading the festival enabled them to meet a lot of people, he said.
Its been a lot of fun, Lee Youngblood said about the festival planning. Thats one of the best ways you can meet a lot of great people from town, people who volunteer to help with something.
He said another new feature of the festival this year will be a revamped car show, organized this year by Jonathan Taylor and Jim Dickerson. The car show includes new classes and awards, he said.
The event will include craft and food vendors as it has in the past, as well as games and attractions for children.
New for kids
A new attraction for the children this year will be the Monster Waterfall, he said. They put you in this ball, you get in a 30-by-30 pool in about 2 feet of water and run around, he said.
Other favorite festival events will continue, including the 5K, 10k and fun runs, golf tennis and softball tournaments, community entertainment during the day and the Texaco Country Showdown at the Sylvia Theater. Good Shepherd Episcopal Church also will hold its annual antiques show and sale, plus lunch this is the events 20th year.
Youngblood said he hopes festivalgoers will hang around to close down the festival or take a break and return. You can go home, change clothes, do what you need to do and come back, he said of the concert. We felt that would be a nice fitting close to an event that draws so many people.